Manganese sulfate (manganese is ionically bonded to the sulfate group)


Ingredient name: Manganese Sulfate

Chemical Formula: MnSO4(H2O)

Institute of Medicine Daily Recommended Intake: 1.8 mg (females) 2.3 mg (males)

Amount contained in one pouch of Soylent: 2 mg

Nutrition role:

Manganese is needed in bone formation, as well as in the metabolism of amino acids, lipids and carbohydrates.[1]

Despite being an essential nutrient (i.e., a total absence of manganese could eventually result in death), manganese deficiency is rarely encountered in humans. As such, a relatively (compared to other nutrients) small quantity of research has been conducted on this mineral.[2]

Manganese's primary function stems from its role as a cofactor in a variety of enzymes, including manganese superoxide dismutase, which initiates the breakdown of harmful types of oxygen (specifically the reactive oxygen species, superoxide). Other manganese-specific enzymes include arginase (a component of amino acid metabolism) and pyruvate carboxylase (carbohydrate metabolism).


Manganese is absorbed in the small intestine[3] and of the total quantity ingested, studies suggest that between 1 and 16 percent is absorbed.[4],[5] Total body manganese levels are estimated to be between 10 to 20 mg.[6] After absorption and filtration in the liver, high concentrations are stored in the liver, kidney and pancreas and approximately 25 percent of manganese is stored in bones.[7]

Reason this form chosen:

Manganese sulfate is a stable form of manganese that also provides a neutral taste profile.

[1] "Manganese." In Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc, 394. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2001. 

[2] Erdman, J. W., MacDonald, I. A., Zeisel, S. H. "Manganese, Molybdenum, Boron, Chromium, And Other Trace Elements." In Present Knowledge in Nutrition, 587. Washington, DC: International Life Sciences Institute, 2012.

[3] Ibid., 588

[4] Aschner, J.L., Aschner, M. "Nutritional Aspects of Manganese Homeostasis." Molecular Aspects of Medicine 26, (2005): 353-362. 

[5] Ross, C. A., Caballero, B., Cousins, R. J., Tucker, J. L., Ziegler, T. R. "Manganese." In Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 241. Baltimore, Maryland: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2014.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

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